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Tag Archives: Digital Publishing
Companies: Why You Should Consider Temps
Our articles on temping have typically been to inform candidates of the many benefits that come with temping, both professionally and personally. But today, we’d like to point out the many reasons why temping is such a useful avenue for clients to consider.
The flexibility of temps also means company flexibility.
If you’re expanding your team but you’re not quite prepared to hire a permanent person, a temporary employee is a great way to establish exactly what it is you need in terms of additional resources. Maybe you’ve never had extra hands on deck and you’re only now starting to realise the new objectives you can tackle. A temp-to-perm scenario can be a match made in heaven for company and employee alike. As someone grows into a newly created role and reveals the kind of results that can be produced with more staff. The manager can then take these results to HR as Exhibit A on what expanding the team can mean for everyone.
But more than that,
Temps bring their own expertise with them.
They don’t need to be entry-level candidates acting as a stop-gap. By hiring consultants or veteran freelancers, a company also gets to avail of a temporary worker’s own experiences, the different business practices they’ve witnessed in their time. New blood often means new ideas and even if the worker doesn’t stick around, their contributions can last forever.
And, of course,
Temporary workers can provide much needed breathing space to permanent employees.
When the day-to-day administration is taken off their hands, they’re able to concentrate on the bigger picture and implement the projects. This improve service and streamline practices. You can get a lot done when you don’t have to sweat the small stuff. Even if it’s only for a little while.
So, for anyone who’s currently reviewing team numbers or work-loads, don’t commit until you know for sure exactly what you need – try a temp today! Get in touch with Kellie Millar, who manages our Temps and Freelancers desk, or her colleague, Alison Redfearn, and they can send you more workers than you can shake a stick at!
5 reasons to get a temp:
- Cover sick leave
- Cover holiday
- Help with a project
- Flexibility – have for 1 day / 1 week / 1 month…
- No admin – we cover all payment, NI, holiday pay, pension
Last Thursday, OPuS held an event to discuss Museum and Cultural Publishing. The speakers were Declan McCarthy (Ashmolean Museum), Samuel Fanous (The Bodleian Library) and Katie Bond (National Trust). John Hudson (Historic England) was the Chair.
The publishing and retail scene in museums, galleries and the heritage sector has been resilient during the recent unsettled years in publishing, and is a significant component of the wider cultural sector which is one of our national success stories. Within the sector, books are published on a variety of models – on a fully commercial basis or one of cost recovery, or in some cases conscious subsidy as part of a wider agenda. In this session, publishers from the National Trust, The Bodleian Library and the Ashmolean Museum, all based locally, describe their business and the particular characteristics of the cultural publishing sector.
- Lots of cultural publishers are members of ACE: The Association of Cultural Enterprises
- The Ashmolean publishing programme focuses on event catalogs, tied to the 3-5 exhibitions the museum holds each year. These differ from general trade books in that the sales are tied very strongly to the actual exhibition, and any sales beyond a show are a bonus.
- For the Ashmolean, business is still very focused around producing beautiful, physical books. E-books, apps, and other digital forms do exist and are continually looked into, but at the moment they are not viable revenue generators.
- Whilst the Bodleian has always published, the current publishing programme is still very new and has been grown gradually and carefully.
- Public engagement is fundamental to the continued survival of cultural institution, and a publishing programme is a useful tool for this.
- The Bodleian has several different approaches it takes when publishing titles: 1) doing a direct facsimile edition of an out-of-print book, 2) repackaging material in a new format, 3) publishing newly authored titles (that often use illustrations and source material from the collections), 4) gift-books to bring in a new audience of non-scholars.
- The National Trust has over 200 shops – that is more nationally than Waterstones – and around 50% of their book revenues come from sales in those shops. The other 50% is primarily from sales in the UK trade. Like the Ashmolean, most of their sales are print, with digital and ebooks having more presence overseas.
- Along with the annual Handbook that goes to all National Trust members, and the individual property guidebooks which are done in-house, they also publishing specialist books, illustrated narrative non-fiction, and children’s books. These are published in partnership with Nosy Crows, Pavilion, and Faber & Faber.
- A book that sells well in the Trade does not (always) sell well in the gift-shops, and vice versa. Katie has learnt that the more a book is embedded in the organisation and ties back to their core message, the better it does.
- The Children’s market is challenging, nostalgic, brand driven, infuriating, hard to break in to, but with massive talent, potential, and hugely rewarding.
- As an editor you may come across challenges from elsewhere in your organisation about why you commissioned a particular title from a particular author. You need to know what you are publishing and why, and don’t be afraid to stick to your guns if it is important. That is the editors job!
All in all, it was a fascinating evening learning about a sector of the industry many of us are not aware of. The main lesson I learned was that publishing in the heritage sector requires a thorough understanding of the requirements of your market, a deep appreciation for the uniqueness of your source material (be that a museum, a library collection, or several hundred distinct properties around the country), a creative mind to see the new potential, and the willingness to take a risk on something that hasn’t been done before.
The PPA Independent Publisher Conference and Awards 2015 took place at The Brewery on 9th December.
The morning offered a huge range of presentations across two streams focusing on strategy and content. Afterwards, 400 publishing professionals attended the glittery lunch at which the 2015 winners were announced and the awards presented. These included our own Atwood Tate MD, Claire Law, who presented the Business Media Brand of the Year award to The Drum, Carynx Group.
The strategy stream kicked off with a series of case studies examining how publishers are tackling the area of live events, digital publishing, retail and mobile. Highlights included Rhinegold’s MD Ciaran Morton talking about Rhinegold Live, an innovative (free) rush hour concert series. We also heard from Alex Beaumont, Cogora MD; Andy Salter, Road Transport Media MD; Dan Sims, Retail Director, Seymour; and Jonny Kaldor, Kaldor’s CEO.
Later sessions included “How to build and retain a strong team to drive business success”, offering top tips on two contrasting approaches from Terry Grimwood (Publishing Director at DJ Murphy) and Marc Hartog (Founder & CEO, Apptitude Media). An insight into native and programmatic Advertising was offered by Richard Johnstone, Editorial Director, The Drum and Carole Jordorson , Digital Strategist at Digital Heights.
The morning closed with a fascinating panel presentation on “20 Things you need to know about Digital Publishing” delivered by five leading experts , Jonathan Collins, CEO, Affino; Fiona Evans, Director of Publishing Partnerships, Collective; Esther Kezia Harding, Digital Editor and Designer, Page Lizard; and Michael Kowalski, Founder, Contentment.
Altogether a great day!
This year’s IPG Autumn Conference took place on November 12th. Here are some of Kellie’s highlights.
Nielsen first Independent publisher industry report
The Conference unveiled some of the key findings from the first ever Independent Publishing Report. As Nielsen’s Jo Henry pointed out, the report finds independents to be in buoyant mood amid all the challenges. Digital accounts for more than 20% of sales at one in five IPG members now, publishers’ average number of full-time staff is just over nine, and that only 3% want Britain to leave the European Union in next year’s ‘Brexit’ poll. HE Academic was a tough market. There was growth in Education and Children’s. Paperbacks had good sales 55% and so did hardback sales. Ebooks were 12% of sales. Publishers are using freelancers. Editorial, Design, Marketing, Sales and Production were the top teams where they were used. There are staffing gaps in specialist roles as well as knowledge gaps. Another good thing about IPGs is that they are able to look at new writers, and develop a great brand.
How to be a Productivity Ninja
Graham Allcott, author of How to be a Productivity Ninja shared lots of useful advice for sharpening up all our working days. Try to stay relaxed, switch off Facebook, keep your email inbox at zero, take inspiration from others, maintain checklists and resist the always-available culture. He also suggests to have a “have done” list of what you have achieved. This helps to create positivity. Sending “Thank you” cards creates gratitude and continues the happy abundant flow, leading to Zen-like publishing calm.
India is a new growth market for Independents
Philippa Malicka of Ingram discussed the size of the Indian book market. Education, online retail and regional languages are among the big opportunities—though piracy, tricky pricing decisions and tortuous distribution remain big obstacles.
Partnership publishing is flourishing
A Conference session on partnerships in trade publishing showed the power of linking up the skills of independents with respected brands. Phil Turner of Meze showed how his company’s localised partnerships with restaurants and chefs had led to big cookbook sales.
James Spackman on Building an Independent Brand
”Publisher brands are important and there’s never been a better time to develop one,” said James Spackman of Profile’s new Pursuit imprint. He pointed to examples of great branding at Galley Beggar Press, Pushkin Press, Nosy Crow and Unbound. Unbound put letters of thanks in their books, When Nosy Crow recruit, they ask the question “are they of the crow?” Canongate gush with enthusiasm to their authors– had couch at Frankfurt book fair, “we want to meet you”, and emphasised the importance of thinking about branding in every aspect of operations—right down to the appearance of the office. Bloomsbury’s book filled reception also mentioned as not seen as an author friendly space.
Amazon Marketing Services have set up an ad auction so booksellers can advertise on Amazon to get prime ad space. They bid pence for prime space and can use an ad budget of £100. Can keep bidding on the space to keep prime slot.
Independent publishing careers can flourish
Tom Bonnick of Nosy Crow and Andrew Furlow of Icon, past and present winners of the IPG Young Independent Publisher of the Year Award spoke about their experiences of working in the independent publishing industry. Their companies had given them many opportunities across publishing. This can lead to unconventional career paths at independent publishers. Independent publishers also have a lack of fear to try new things. “It’s not a path you could have in a corporate publisher,” agreed Andrew Furlow of Icon Books. But both said publishing needed to give more attention to training and recruiting new skill sets—things that will feed into training work the IPG will be doing over the next few years.
The Emirates Stadium provided an impressive setting for the European Information Industry Network Conference 2015 on 22 October.
Some 160 delegates, comprising B2B publishing leaders, experts and influencers, gathered to “learn, share and connect” as declared by Julian Turner, CEO of Electric Word, in his opening remarks.
His welcome was followed by Kate Worlock, Vice President and Lead Analyst of Outsell, Inc., who explored key growth areas such as marketing automation, search and aggregation, stating that marketing analytics and data are set to hit the top spot next year. She highlighted that by 2020, Millenials (those born between 1980 and 2000) will make up 50% of the workforce as they begin to outnumber baby boomers, and they are already shaping the publishing landscape in terms of agility, and their collaborative and social approach.
Marc Worth, Chairman & CEO of Stylus Media Group, made some interesting observations about shifts in trends and forecasting which, until recently, have tended to look about 18 months ahead in most industries, following the lead from fashion in the early 80s. With the advent of social media, trends can now appear overnight and disappear just as quickly. This has led to the emergence of micro trends, particularly in niche industries. “Business must be ready to innovate, to be proactive rather than reactive”, said Worth.
Carla Buzasi, Global Chief Content Officer, WGSN, explained how content needs to be able to provoke a reaction. Returning to discussion of the rise of the Millenials, she informed the audience how members of this generation currently operate with, on average, 3 technological devices. And coming up closely behind them is Generation 2 (those born after 2000) who operate with 5. She left us ruminating on the daunting thought that the human brain has now evolved to gather information in the space of just 8 seconds. That’s how long publishing professionals have to capture the engagement of their audience!
EIIN15 participants were able to choose from a number of eminent speakers covering topics such as scaling your media business, technology, digital transformation, customer participation and multiplatform content.
A session of roundtables was staged before lunch, freedom of movement between tables being suggested and seemingly encouraged. The ensuing lack of movement was actually indicative of the success of this element of the programme. Delegates were able to ask, argue, suggest and exchange views and became engrossed in their own micro conferences.
The afternoon presented more insight, case studies and a keynote panel discussion, after which KenWasch, President, SIIA, summarised by saying that the one word present in all discussions had been ‘disruption’; disruption in its powerful, but positive sense, as a necessity for prediction, adaptability and innovation in a dynamic industry.
We’re very excited to be involved with Futurebook as it approaches its fifth anniversary.
The conference on 4th December will be the culmination of a week of activities and brings together leading thinkers in publishing, retail, editorial, writing, marketing and tech, along with speakers from other industries.
It’s ‘aimed at those invested in and passionate about the future of books’ which is all of us so hope to see you at the conference!
To kick things off, the shortlist for the awards was announced at the Frankfurt Book Fair on the evening of Thursday October 15th. See the full shortlist here and Atwood Tate is delighted to be sponsoring Best use of Digital in a Marketing/Publicity Campaign.
Very best of luck to all the teams involved in these campaigns:
- Harry Potter Jonny Duddle Relaunch/ Harry Potter Book Night, Bloomsbury
- “Naked on Snapchat”, Fjeldbraaten & Waage
- Scrabble Week, HarperCollins
- The Sick Bag Song, Canongate
- Summer of Penguin, Penguin Random House
- Tim Weaver’s MISSING, podcast campaign, Penguin Random House
- My Brother is a Superhero, Nosy Crow
- Shazam partnership, HarperCollins
- Ingrid Winter—the bookseller game, Fjeldbraaten & Waage
- Little Black Classics, Penguin Books
Brands, Licensing, Partnerships and don’t forget Consumer Insight: The Bookseller Children’s Conference 2015
On the 29th September I attended the annual Bookseller Children’s Conference. Having started my publishing career in the children’s sector, I’m always pleased when it’s my turn to go and it was a great opportunity to catch up with old colleagues and find out the latest trends and concerns within the lively world of children’s book publishing.
The recurrent themes of the day were brands, licensing and partnerships and the conference got off to a great start with a presentation from Cally Poplak, Managing Director of Egmont Publishing UK, on the subject of Building Children’s Brands. Poplak distilled Egmont’s strategy for success into one sentence: We publish what children love to read. She explained that the publisher’s aim is to make children proud readers and to produce books that are engaging and appealing to the child. Consumer insight and analysis is key to achieving this and by identifying what motivates different readers and book buyers, marketing and publicity campaigns can also be tailored to fit the various motivations. Regarding skills and the future of publishing, Poplak confirmed that old fashioned publishing skills are as important as ever but it is increasingly important that traditional publishing methods are underpinned by consumer insight and a focus on what kids are talking about and what parents want.
Other highlights of the conference were presentations from Jill Kidson, Head of Consumer Marketing at Walker Books and Laura Bijelic, Senior Consumer Insight Manager for Penguin Platform, both of whom stressed the importance of using audience/consumer insight to underpin new product development and marketing and publicity campaigns. Jill Kidson demonstrated how Walker Books had made the most of marketing a heritage brand, Guess How Much I Love You?, by focussing on sales spikes and specific calendar moments to maximise the impact of their 20th anniversary campaign. Laura Bijelic advised publishers to “get out there and meet your audience” and described how Penguin Platform was developed after much desk research and testing to define a clear target audience and vision.
Consumer Insight aside, the hot topics in children’s publishing at the moment seem to be licensing and brand management with a keyword being partnership. John Styring, Co-founder and CEO of Igloo Books, talked about both the opportunities and pitfalls of brand licensing and the National Trust and Nosy Crow announced their partnership and exciting plans for joint branded publishing. Kate Wilson, Managing Director of Nosy Crow, and Katie Bond, Publisher at the National Trust, stressed the importance of researching and understanding your publishing partner when undertaking a joint venture. For such partnerships to be successful there needs to be a mutual understanding of each party’s brand values and these need to fit.
The panel discussion on Knowing and Growing Your IP, continued on a similar theme of brand licensing but expanding on the topic of exploiting content and IP beyond traditional print publishing. The recent appointment of panel member, Katie Price, as Licensing Director at Hachette Children’s Group is perhaps demonstrative of the developing concerns of children’s publishers and their ambitions to expand on traditional publishing in order to be capable of fully exploiting important IP. Barry Cunningham (Managing Director, Chickenhouse) told publishers that if they want authors or IP owners to sign over all rights, they need to be able to demonstrate that they deserve to hold these rights and Dylan Collins (CEO, Superawesome) suggested this could be done by building capabilities internally.
The conference certainly left me with food for thought and whilst diversification and building multi-media capabilities were touted as the way of the future, many of the presentations and statistics quoted firmly reminded us that with £206.1 million spent on children’s books so far in the UK in 2015 (3.19% increase on 2014), print is still going strong in the children’s market.
If you’re interested in finding out some more facts and figures, check out the slides from the conference here.
Last week I attended the IPG’s Digital and Marketing Quarterly (@ipghq #ipgdmq), hosted at the offices of Faber and Faber. The theme of the event was selling direct to consumers and there was a great range of talks from experts in different fields of publishing.
The evening kicked off with Gareth Cuddy, CEO of Vearsa, who spoke about the promise and pitfalls of selling direct to consumers and the increase in “social” or “recommendation” based selling. He ran through a list of different platforms for selling books online and advised that publishers should not be afraid to outsource parts of their business where possible. Tech start-ups rely heavily on outsourcing and it works well for them!
This was followed by James Woolham, MD of F+W Media. He talked about how they have built a successful direct to consumer business based on a series of online craft brands and he demonstrated how publishers can build an interactive online community of fans and customers. It is not an expensive process but it does require time and commitment and the revenue gained will be far greater than any risks.
Next up was Jaime Marshall (MD of Higher Education) and Katie Thorn (Marketing Director) at Macmillan. They gave an insight into the 3 categories of higher education books they publish and how best to market each category to their desired consumer. Selling to lecturers and students is both an art and a science and a blend of B2B and B2C tactics are required.
1. Core adoptable textbooks: The single source of reading for a course.
2. Recommended reading: Optional reading which doesn’t fit a whole module
3. ‘Trade’: Scaled out titles, generally sold in bookshops to trade consumers
The increase in tuition fees and the closing of campus bookshops has changed the landscape of academic bookselling. One way they have overcome the challenges is by partnering with John Smith & Son and setting up virtual campus bookstores online.
The evening finished off with Steve Bohme, Research Director at Nielsen, who spoke about the trends in book buying across different formats and the fact that eBook sales have slowed due to a slowdown in ownership of reading devices. He also urged publishers to think more resourcefully and creatively about how they make use of their data for marketing purposes.
Thanks to all the speakers for their contribution to a very interesting evening, full of useful tips and facts for selling direct to consumers.
The next DMQ is on 26th November.